Suicide Ideation and Suicide Risk among Latina University Students: Examining the Main and Interactive Effects of Childhood Maltreatment and Mindfulness



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The associations between childhood maltreatment and suicidal ideation and risk are well-established. However, there is a relative paucity of work exploring these associations among Latinx populations, particularly women. To address the substantial mental and physical health disparities found among Latinx individuals, the present study aimed to examine (1) childhood maltreatment severity (CMS) and suicidal ideation and risk associations among Latina university students; and (2) the moderating role of mindfulness (i.e., present-focused, nonjudgmental acceptance and awareness of cognitions and physiological sensations) in these associations. Latina students (N = 1079; Mage = 21.95, SD = 4.30) recruited from a public, southwestern university completed online, self-report surveys. Covariates included depressive symptom severity and age. Significant main and interactive effects emerged for CMS (Beta = 0.10, t = 3.21, p < .001) and mindfulness (Beta = -0.09, t = -3.15, p <.001) on suicidal ideation (Beta = -0.09, t = -3.53, p < .001), but not suicide risk. Simple slope analysis results indicate that Latina students with low mindfulness and increased CMS endorsed greater suicidal ideation. These findings have the potential to improve and inform suicide-focused intervention and prevention measures for this vulnerable and underserved population.